A quick scroll through Instagram will confirm two things: (1) You need a tie-dye sweatsuit like, yesterday, and (2) the shag haircut isn’t going anywhere.
The vintage-inspired cut first re-emerged around 2017, and it’s been a favorite of celebs and Instagram It-girls ever since. It’s easy to understand the cut’s wide appeal, since it’s insanely flattering and gives off that extremely-cool-without trying vibe. Like curtain bangs, which often go hand in hand with a shag, it manages to look current while nodding to icons of the past like ’70s rockstars and Jane Fonda.
A shag haircut is generally made up of three things: choppy close-cropped layers, bangs, and a center part. But in the past few years the style has evolved from something that would be seen on an extra in Almost Famous to looser adaptations. “I would say the most modern version is focused on movement just around your hairline,” says Amber Maynard Bolt, master stylist at L.A.’s Nine Zero One salon. “You don’t need a ton of layers all over your head if you don’t want to lose the density of your hair.”
The best thing about shags is this versatility. “Depending on your hair texture, the shag is a cut that can be worn extremely messy or seamlessly straight,” says stylist Anh Co Tran, although Bolt adds you get the most effortless look if you have some natural texture to your hair. Paired with the fact that the cut can subtly draw attention to the features you love best about your face shape, it makes sense that shags would be all over Hollywood. “The face framing aspect brings out or hides various points of the face,” says Bolt.
Need more convincing? We rounded up some of the best shag haircuts out there, whether you want something edgy like Miley Cyrus, full and bouncy like Zendaya, or long and flowing like Halle Berry. Here are the coolest takes on the trend.